Welcome to LGBT Jewish Inclusion Central, our virtual headquarters for raising awareness about the importance of creating a fully inclusive Jewish community and providing tools for action. Here you will find facts and figures, Tweets and Twibbons, photos, graphics, sample policies, pledges and more.
We are asking you to join us in sharing these resources. Our goal is to get them into the hands of people like you who can drive change within the organizations they belong to and support. Can we get more organizations to prioritize inclusion? Can we raise the bar of inclusion in the faith-based world?
Yes, we can—but not without you. As you consider the role you might play, think of someone in your life who has struggled, or continues to struggle, to find a community that is welcoming and supportive. Take action in honor of that person!
Jewish Organization Equality Index
The Jewish Organization Equality Index (JOEI) is the Human Rights Campaign first-ever index of inclusion within a faith-based community. It is modeled after HRC’s groundbreaking Corporate Equality Index and provides benchmarks for gauging, and resources for improving, LGBT inclusivity policies and practices of North American Jewish communal organizations.
5 THINGS TO KNOW
Do Not Stand Idly By: A Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives
“Do Not Stand Idly By: A Jewish Community Pledge to Save Lives” is the first campaign in the Jewish community to draw attention to homophobic and transphobic bullying. More than 11,000 individuals and 1,000 Jewish organizations have signed on.
Attend a Training
Looking for ways to make your Jewish institution safe and inclusive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews but don’t know where to start? Keshet offer both individualized workshops and programs for organizations as well as our signature Keshet Training Institute, a two-and-half-day train-the-trainer program. Our workshops are tailored to meet the specific needs of the community or organization hosting the training.
Explore the Equality Guide
Are you having trouble finding?
- A rabbi to perform a wedding for a LGBT couple?
- A day school committed to inclusion?
- A synagogue where LGBT Jews and their families will feel welcome?
The Guide is simple way for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Jews and their loved ones to find inclusive Jewish clergy and institutions and learn about their policies and practices.
Adopt Statements of Inclusion
Written non-discrimination policies and benefits form the foundation of diversity and inclusion efforts. Does your organization have a policy in place that specifically mentions sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression?
Additional #JLGBT Resources
Keshet is a national organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Jews in Jewish life with headquarters in Boston and local offices in Denver, Colorado and the San Francisco Bay Area. Led and supported by LGBT Jews and straight allies, Keshet cultivates the spirit and practice of inclusion in all parts of the Jewish community – synagogues, Hebrew schools, day schools, youth movements, summer camps, social service organizations, and other communal agencies.
Nationwide, Keshet offers training, consultation, and educational resources with a focus on institutions that serve youth and young adults. Keshet’s signature train-the-trainer institutes give educators and community leaders the skills and tools they need to train their peers in fostering safe, inclusive classrooms, youth groups, summer camps, and more. In Massachusetts, Colorado, and the San Francisco Bay Area, Keshet also offers social and cultural programs for LGBT Jews, family, friends, and allies.
Hebrew Union College Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation (HUC-IJSO)
Located in Los Angeles, Calif., this organization’s mission is to prepare Jewish leaders to include every Jew in their congregations and communities. They have a list of events that they are hosting on their websites, such as lectures on the intersection of Judaism and LGBT issues. Their website also includes the Jeff Herman Virtual Resource Center, with a large collection of articles, texts, and websites about LGBT topics.
The Rainbow Center:
Jewish Family and Career Services
The Rainbow Center in Atlanta, Ga., provides resources for LGBT Jews of all ages and religious preferences, including education, training, youth services and suicide prevention. They refer people to the LGBT-friendly counseling services, agencies, and clubs that can meet their needs. Their “Ask a Rabbi” feature of the website allows anybody to ask questions anonymously about being LGBT and Jewish.
Nehirim is a national community of LGBT Jews and their allies, which offers programs and services to promote a more inclusive Jewish community. Their programs include retreats and speakers, and their resources include articles related to LGBT Jews and information for college students. Their retreats are varied, and combine LGBT programs and Jewish information.
This organization provides a support network for LGBT Jews of traditional Jewish communities. They host Shabbat retreats, run educational initiatives such as speaker training and maintain a large resource database for LGBT issues in the Orthodox community.
TransTorah helps Jewish communities and congregations become fully inclusive for Jews of all genders. They have resources on inclusive rituals and liturgy, as well as educational resources for transgender-inclusive readings of the Torah. They also have sermons and Divrei Torot (Torah commentaries) available online that use Jewish texts to support transgender and genderqueer inclusion. Their educational material is meant for all audiences, and covers issues such “Trans Etiquette/Respect/Support 101” and others that are meant as study guides for those looking into the issue of Halacha (Jewish religious law) and gender diversity.
The World Congress of GLBT Jews
The World Congress of GLBT Jews is an international organization that hosts conferences and workshops around the world that address LGBT issues in the Jewish community. They also support over 50 organizations around the world that serve LGBT Jews and aim to foster a sense of community among LGBT Jews worldwide.
Jewish Queer Youth
This is a resource for LGBT Jews from traditional Conservative, Orthodox, Hasidic, and Ultra-Orthodox backgrounds between the ages of 17 and 30. The site provides support for young LGBT Jews regardless of current religious affiliation and situations. It is not affiliated with any outside group and is sensitive to any privacy concerns that its members might have, especially those who are still in Orthodox or Hasidic communities and who might not be out to their community. The organization hosts monthly meetings in the JCC in Manhattan.
A Wider Bridge
A Wider Bridge seeks to inspire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Jews to deepen their Jewish identity through connection with Israel and to develop stronger connections between the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities in Israel and North America.
2wice Blessed is a social movement dedicated to creating a supportive touchstone for LBGTQ Jews and the people who love them. It is also designed to serve as a catalyst for conversation, hub for information, and accessible resource for this community.
Major LGBT Synagogues
- Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, New York, NY
- Kol Ami, West Hollywood, CA
- Beth Chayim Chadashim, Los Angeles
- Sh’ar Zahav, San Francisco
- Bet Mishpachah, Washington DC
- Beit Haverim, Atlanta